Divekick: Very First Impressions

Because I really have to tell this story to someone who'll appreciate it.

It was my second match and I was up against someone I'd seen at the top of the leaderboards, who I knew was a streamer because I'd seen a stream of his a couple of days ago. I picked MarkMan, who I'm pretty sure takes some skill to play well, and he picked Dr. Shoals, his favorite character, or "main". After he won the first round, over the mic, I heard him say to his viewers "Oh, this guy's in trouble." I won the second round and we were tied until the last round.

Divekick is the fighting game of the people.

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Games for Windows Live Missing The Mark

I guess everyone else had their computers destroyed or accounts locked by GFWL or they had to spend ten hours signing up, but I've never had any problems with it. In fact, I like buying games that are connected to Xbox Live, for the achievements and other tracking purposes. Was I the only one disappointed that Mark of the Ninja wouldn't be a game for Windows Live? I'll probably buy it since I've got all the achievements on 360 anyway, but it would've been nice to have them on PC too, since I'm going to be doing them all again.

I was originally going to make this a forum thread, but I thought it was just whiny enough to be a blog post.

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Confessions of a Steam Addict Supplemental

I'm going to stop doing this for a while. I started it at a time when I didn't really have many other games to play, but now I have a lot. A few months wasn't bad for a projected I started the day I conceived it, so I don't feel bad. Plus, I'll come back to it. I just have less time, it seems.

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Confessions of a Steam Addict 7: Falling With Style

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAaaAAAaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAaaaAAAAAaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaa is the game I started off the week with. I always felt like I'd played quite a bit of it, but Steam said I'd only played about 20 minutes before this week. So, I spent a lot of time this week BASE jumping while listening to podcasts. Eventually, I got around half-way through the levels and found it difficult to progress any further. To unlock levels, you need teeth, which are earned by achieving at least your best ranking on a level. These mid-range levels were getting expensive for me to unlock without a lot of work, so I decided to check the end levels to see what the teeth requirements back there were. It turns out that the levels expand both ways around the circle, not just right. Going left from the beginning levels also works, almost making this an open world game.

The game was suddenly fun and easy again now that I was playing the starter levels. I even unlocked a new skill I'd seen referenced before. Eventually, I worked my way back around to where I'd gotten stuck before. This left me with two levels I was unable to unlock without a serious work and time commitment. I'm not really into that "working hard" stuff, so I decided I'd hit my skill ceiling and I moved onto the next game.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaAAAAAaaaaAAAAAAAA was the next game on my list. From what I can tell, it's just a souped up version of the first game, with a set of harder levels. I can't be sure, though, because the wiki is empty. Someone needs to work on that. I got three levels into it before hitting my skill ceiling again. I wasn't sure I'd get through the first level, but I did. Apparently there's an iPhone version, maybe I should try that.

I was always going to play Achron and I was looking forward to it, but when it came to it, I just didn't feel like learning a whole new RTS game. I love time travel, but not if I have to play an RTS to get to it.

Age of Chivalry is a game I love and will come back to many times, so it doesn't fit the purpose of this exercise.

Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures is 25GB, so forget that. Unless there's high demand for it, of course. High demand being at least one person, since nobody reads this anyway.

Next week: Airline Tycoon 2! So here's the question I have for you: should I buy the DLC for it? That'd be pretty dumb, right?

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Confessions of a Steam Addict 6: Or, How I Learned To Stop Trying

And Just Give Up.

This is going to be a bigger, longer and harder update, probably (I haven't written it yet), because the last update was late and the next week would've covered about three days. So instead, this update is covering two weeks of the Steam games I've played. It felt like a lot at the time.

A Game Of Thrones: Genesis

Two weeks ago, I'd just discovered the basics of AGOTG; moving little people around and making them fight and kill each other. Before I moved onto any further campaigns, I wanted to give a large-scale AI game a shot, playing against seven other factions. The game crashed after a few minutes, but during those minutes I was mostly confused about what was going on, trying to manage the various pieces and systems and factions and generally not playing very well. I like to play games that way, with me as just one of many pieces on the ultimate structure of the playing field, which is why I like Mount & Blade a lot and why I never finished my first very large game of Civ V, but I decided it wasn't conducive to my goal of finishing/getting good at the games set out before me.

I played a few missions into the second campaign and decided it was going well and the objectives were fairly easy, so I'd press on as much as I could. The campaigns themselves are probably really interesting to fans of the books and having a dragon is fun, even if the damage done is represented in numbers and meters only. After about three missions, I got to an objective I couldn't figure out, so I got bored and played some more AI games.

Graphs are always fun.

I can't remember much specifically about these games, expect the achievements seeming pretty easy and liking the results screens. It feels like they had high hopes for this game, but the community seems to agree that they didn't market it enough to generate a steady player base, starving the game. Eventually I just decided I didn't like the game and that I'd played enough of it, so it was time to move onto something new.

I feel like cutting the blog in two here, but I know the statistics posts are long, so I don't think there's anything wrong with going on. Also, when you're writing it always seems like you've written more than you have. This update is probably just five sentences so far.

A.R.E.S.

I'm choosing to skip A Valley Without Wind because it's a game I like and I know I'll get back to it one day. Instead, I'm moving on to A.R.E.S., I game about a robot who was built without the capacity to love. It's a side-scrolling platformer with shooty robots going pew pew pew pew, something I'm more suited to than medieval fantasy RTSs. The game has elements which make it seem like some Metroidvania things will be involved, like secret collectables which can potentially upgrade your robot's stats hidden behind things you can't get to without certain powers you'll receive in later levels. No problem, I thought, I'll just ignore any especially difficult collectables until I get stuck, then I'll just hit the level select screen.

Maybe I should've used this super attack more.

The platforming can get difficult, with wind to push you back and weirdly imprecise movement controls, at least using a 360 controller. Also, the upgrade system is strange because you essentially have to farm for upgrade points on higher difficulties, which they make easy by having the enemies quickly respawn, but the upgrade points are the same currency used to buy bombs used to access secret areas or get through obstacles and health packs used to heal. This is what makes farming essential; the items you need to get through the levels are expensive enough to offset any profit from getting through the levels. Even then, farming is tedious because occasionally you'll get hit, creating need for another health pack, meaning it takes longer to make enough for an upgrade.

So eventually, I made it to the final boss after a long level of fighting and platforming and I found it too difficult to proceed. So, I thought, this is the time to use my new skills to get some of the previous collectables I missed. It's only then that I discovered that there is no level select screen. Apparently, you have to start a new game plus to get all of those collectables at the beginning. And if I wanted to get back to the boss, I'd have to go through that whole last level again, farming as much as I could. So that's when I stopped playing that game.

AaAaAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity

Then I started playing this game some. I've played it a little before, but I've never gotten the hang of it, so I'm looking forward to getting better. I'm not going to try to perfect every level, just to play all of them and finish. Then I can do it all again in the sequel.

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Confessions of a Steam Addict 5: Winter is Coming, Eventually

Boy, a week sure does go fast, huh? Sorry this update is late, but I told the time machine operator that I wanted to go to Sunday and he took me to the very first Sunday! What with the time differentials and all, it took me a while to catch up, but here I am once again to regale you with stories from lands afar. Or, more accurately, I'm going to update you on what it's like to play through a literal embarrassment of Steam games, one by one.

This week, I started playing A Game of Thrones: Genesis, or, as I like to call it, RTS the first. Real-time strategy has never been something I've been good at and since I prefer to play games I am good at, I've generally stayed away from the genre. However, I'm not willing to ignore a whole genre, especially one which includes Achron.

AGoT:G plays with the themes of the books by introducing deception and underhandedness into the gameplay, but mostly it's just flavor text for what amounts to rock paper scissors, only sometimes your opponent doesn't tell you you're playing until he's stabbed you with the scissors. Still, it's an okay theme to get someone like me more interested in playing the game. Plus, it provides some interesting backstory on the events of the books, if you're into that sort of thing. I haven't read the books, but I like the TV show and I don't think there's anything I haven't understood up to where I've played.

My time with the game so far was spent reading the in-game encyclopaedia, which took a couple of hours somehow, then going through the tutorial, then playing through the first campaign, which seemed to be a more applied tutorial. I am now ready to start playing the game and am entering this next week with gusto.

Remember to message me if you want to play, even if it's just to get achievements or something. I won't be playing this forever, I hope.

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Confessions of a Steam Addict 4: Keep On Truckin'

18 Wheels of Steel: American Long Haul starts out slow, but then after the first few times you're fined for not undergoing mandatory checks or because you exceeded the limits of how long you're allowed to drive, you realise it's just a very technical game. And so, with that in mind, I stopped playing the career mode and just stuck to single delivery jobs. What am I, a trucker's manual?

After switching to single deliveries, the game got more manageable, with fines having no impact and fuel not really being an issue. Also, it gave me a game to play while listening to the Bombcast. After 200 hours of spectating on the same CS:S server, I'm starting to feel like kind of a dirtbag.

Beware the bear.

American Long Haul's probably a good game if you're into trucks and stuff. I even eventually learned what a 10-13 was after everyone on the radio kept asking about it. The AI struck me as a little odd, although I guess realistic. A few times I came across a couple of cars crashed into each other and I'm sure other drivers slow down when they reach police parked by the side of the road. It's a neat thing to happen, I guess.

After a few hours of delivering goods via highways, I decided it was time to step it up a notch to some more extreme environments.

18 Wheels of Steel: Extreme Trucker is another game in the apparently highly successful 18 Wheels of Steel series. In a lot of ways, it feels like a dumbed down version of its predecessor. The career mode has been scrapped in favor of giving the player a choice of missions to play in unlocked areas, with various statistics collected along the way. This could be explained by the lack of freedom included in the areas provided, but it's still just a bunch of roads with companies in various places.

Also lacking are any fuel or sleep requirements, as missions can often last just 15 minutes of in-game time. I think those felt about 2-3 minutes long in real life. There are other trucks around, but there's no CB radio in this game; a great disappointment to all. I miss people asking about 10-13s and then getting worried when I answer with a non sequitur because I don't know what a 10-13 is.

Safe drive, stay employed.

There's no police anywhere in the game, so you can drive however you like, which can make the game a little easier to handle. However, there are hazards along the way, which I guess can destroy your truck or something, but they never really had much effect on me; I drove around them. I did manage to hurt my vehicle pretty badly, though, just because those Bolivian roads can get really tight and windy. I was just hitting the walls and other cars too much. You can lose a lot of points through damage and it's really the only difficult thing about the game, other than some roads not being marked on the map. I was once left with just a 2 point profit because I had less than 10% left on my truck.

I unlocked all of the areas and ranked up a few times in the last and that was it. The game also has a sequel which I will never play. Instead, I'll next be playing A Game of Thrones - Genesis. I'll tell you all about it next week. Oh, and this is the first multiplayer game, so if you wanna play and show me how good you are, send some words my way.

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Confessions of a Steam Addict 3: Truck You, Mothertruckers!

This week, I "played" 18 Wheels of Steel: American Long Haul. Well, not really. I tried starting a career and once I figured out how to pick up an order, I drove for days until I figured out where my fuel meter was and saw that I was almost out, with no fuel stations close enough to save me. Forunately, I still have a save file from earlier, so I should be able to fill up next time I play. "Play".

It might be because I'm not American or because I've never driven a car before, but I don't seem to be a great driver in this driving simulation game. Which is also something I learned playing NASCAR 2011 this week. I never seem to be in the right lane for where I need to go. And those damn cops keep fining me, so even if I do make this delivery, I've lost money on it. There were two cars crashed in the middle of the highway and I didn't have time to stop, that's not my fault! The red lights and driving in the wrong lane probably were, though...

This will be the last post I put in the Steam forum, unless someone persuades me otherwise, because there will be more that are smaller and I already feel like I'm flooding it with this thing. I'll put it in the game forums, I guess? Keeping up on my profile is probably the best way to follow this thing, if you care about it. I'd suggest following me, but I'm not really sure how that helps.

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Confessions of a Steam Addict 2: Electric Boogaloo

This week, it was my sworn duty to play 1000 Amps, a Metroidvania puzzle platformer. I really liked this game and it shouldn't have taking me all week to beat it, but you know what they say, unemployment is a full-time job. Well, I shouldn't say I've beaten it just yet, no matter what the completion meter says, because I've still got the final boss to go. I've never been great with bosses, mostly because I just don't find it fun to keep trying something until I get it right. The game seems to be suggesting the boss should be very easy with all of my abilities, but I just can't deal with all of its attacks being one-hit kills, I guess. I'll give it a few more tries, but if I don't finish, I won't be too worried. After all, the game does explicitly say that I've completed 100% of it.

Anyway, 1000 Amps is very good and I recommend checking it out. It's weird that I haven't heard more about it, but I guess indie games can't all get the same level of publicity. The only thing I found wrong with the game is that it runs on Flash, which I think is the cause of the severe lag which can occur when too many effects are on screen. My controls were literally taking 3-4 seconds to register in some cases. This happened quite a bit in the boss fight, so I can chalk it up to slowdown if I never finish.

Next week is 18 Wheels of Steel: American Long Haul. I've played 12 minutes of it before, according to Steam, and I remember it not working quite right for some reason, so I guess we'll see how that goes.

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Confessions of a Steam Addict

Well, my Metal Gear series playthrough doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and since I seem to enjoy starting projects I'll never finish, I thought "Hey, what's one more?"

Now, this may sound crazy at first, but during this summer's Steam sale, I heard a rumour that you can actually play the games you buy on Steam. I know, I know, I thought I misread it too, but then I tried it and what do you know? It works! So, I've decided to start playing all of my games. Yep, all of them. Well, probably not all of them. Whatever I can/want to. Most of them, at least. I won't play a game if my laptop can't run it, I've already completed it, or if I just don't want to play that particular game. The point of this exercise is to get some value out of my purchases, not to push myself to the limits. Buy keep in mind that I'm not someone who usually finishes games, so even this is further than I'd usually go.

I'll be doing weekly updates of this thing as well as I can be bothered to, so you can track my deteriorating mental state. I'll be playing a game until I either finish it or get relatively good at it, depending on the game's requirements. This means I won't always be finishing a game a week, but it doesn't mean I can't play more than one game in a week, either.

I'll play down the list alphabetically, but from my Library list, not the list on my profile. This means that if I haven't gone past where it would be in the list and you're so inclined, you can force me to play a game by gifting it to me. Or, if you've been looking for someone to play a certain game with you, I probably own it and will have to play it eventually.

Anyway, the first game on the list is 1... 2... 3... KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby), which is good because it's a small pre-release game, which gave me a chance to use this post to explain the rules I've set out for myself. Playing Ugly Baby has given me a chance to get used to the movements of this type of game and the speed at which it moves, which I appreciate, since Dejobaan's similar games are coming up on the list rather soon. I've always liked Dejobaan's style and sense of humor, but I've never been very good at these music games they seem to enjoy producing.

I played a few games of it and got a score which was apparently adorable and that's pretty much it. I feel bad for not saying more about the game, but there's not really much to it and I don't have any easily accessible music on this laptop. No Girlfriend for me :( I suppose it would help to explain what the game is, since I didn't do that. You play as something falling through some other things and you have to rack up points by getting close to the things and going through rings for points. Your multiplier can go up to 5X if you don't hit anything. Also you can rotate for directional points rings and shoot at enemies, but I never saw any of those things while playing. Maybe Avril Lavigne will get the enemies to spawn more. Did I mention the levels are built from music? I'm pretty bad at this. I hope for your sake I improve. I know there's always some person who reads every entry to a thing. Okay, bye! See you next week! Sunday?

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